What We Saw At Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Title: What We Saw At Night
Author: Jacquelyn Mitchard
Publisher: Soho Teen
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Pages: 272, Hardcover
Rating: 3 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
Allie Kim suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum: a fatal allergy to sunlight that confines her and her two best friends, Rob and Juliet, to the night. When freewheeling Juliet takes up Parkour—the stunt-sport of scaling and leaping off tall buildings—Allie and Rob have no choice but to join her, if only to protect her. Though potentially deadly, Parkour after dark makes Allie feel truly alive, and for the first time equal to the “daytimers.”

On a random summer night, the trio catches a glimpse of what appears to be murder. Allie alone takes it upon herself to investigate, and the truth comes at an unthinkable price. Navigating the shadowy world of specialized XP care, extreme sports, and forbidden love, Allie ultimately uncovers a secret that upends everything she believes about the people she trusts the most.

I went into this book with low expectations but I found it suprisingly intriguing! Mitchard gives hints from the beginning that Allie's friend Juliet is hiding something, so I began to pay attention to her. Even though I knew who to focus on, I still couldn't figure out the connection to the mysterious bad guy until it was revealed (not that I am the best at guessing conclusions). This puzzle kept me reading, and this book is on the shorter side so I wanted to read it fast.

I thought it was rather interesting that kids could be allergic to sunlight and I liked the world they created for themselves at night. It was like a vampire schedule, sleep during the day, wake up at sunrise and live your "normal" life. The familiarity they had with their city after dark and the power they felt in controlling this nighttime territory and doing parkour creating an interesting setting. Mitchard doesn't elaborate too much on the specifics of the disease, but she does give enough detail elsewhere to make the story believable (i.e. interactions with "daylighters" and insight into their perception of XP kids).

The characters themselves weren't anything special. Jules had a little spunk but was also crazy reckless and had a death wish. My reserved side found that a bit unappealing, especially since her friends followed along. Allie was just kind of "meh". I wasn't incredibly impressed by her or her powers of deduction. And Rob didn't play a significant enough role to warrent any judgement.

Overall, I thought this was a decent read, but nothing special. Apparently there is a sequel "What We Lost In The Dark" but I don't see anything up yet on Goodreads. I will add it to my TBR but it won't be a priority or anxiously awaited release for me. While I had no problem getting through this book (I was interested in the conclusion), there isn't this feeling of needing to know more. I think this was because there wasn't much to draw me into the story other than the suspense. The characters and their connections fell short.
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